Vlo Assistance Lectrique: What Are the Aids to Purchase in 2020?

Electrically assisted bicycles are becoming more widespread, but remain relatively expensive. However, there are many incentives to shift away from more polluting modes of transport. A little overview…

If sales of electrically assisted bicycles (EAB) exploded in 2017 in France (+90%), it is largely due to the national bonus granted to anyone who bought such a bicycle between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2018. A very popular bonus that would have benefited 250,000 beneficiaries (and cost 50 million euros instead of the 30 million initially planned) according to Cerema (centre for studies and expertise on risks, the environment, mobility and development), but which the following government severely limited only one year after its activation.

State aid much less accessible

However, the matter is no longer so simple, because in addition to being limited to the lowest incomes, the new national purchase aid called the electric-assisted bicycle bonus now only comes as a complement to other similar, local aid. In order to benefit from it, you must be able to justify having already received assistance for the purchase of an EAV awarded by a community. For those who offer a bonus, the state bonus can now at best double the initial aid, up to a maximum of €200 for the 2 aids cumulated and up to a total amount not exceeding 20% of the purchase price of the bicycle. The award criteria do not change, the bonus only applies to electrically-assisted bicycles purchased new and these do not have to be powered by a lead battery (almost all of which is now lithium). The beneficiary also undertakes not to resell his or her bicycle for one year.

Local aid to compensate

As you will have understood, since the state bonus now only serves to supplement local aid, it has become much more important to check beforehand what the communities offer, starting with the lowest level, that of the municipality. And at this level, the disparities are significant, as we will see in our summary of the aid proposed in the largest cities in France (over 150,000 inhabitants), by demographic order. Cities not listed below do not offer, to our knowledge, any purchasing assistance.

As a preamble, it should be pointed out that all the aids below are for electrically assisted bicycles approved and therefore restricted to 25 km/h, new, unless otherwise stated. The bicycle battery must not be lead acid. The aid is also granted on proof of residence in the geographical area concerned. We shall specify, where appropriate, the conditions of resources. Finally, most communities require that the subsidized bicycle not be resold for 1 to 5 years.

Large cities and regions playing the game

City of Paris

The City of Paris is very generous towards its inhabitants by offering a reimbursement of 33% of the price of a new VAE, up to a maximum of €400. The aid extends to kits for adding electrical assistance to a bicycle that does not have one, as well as to cargo bicycles with or without assistance (ceiling raised to €600).

Greater Paris

For its part, metropolitan France can offer a grant of €500, within the limit of the pre-tax cost of an electrically assisted bicycle, provided that its purchase is made to replace a polluting vehicle that will have to be destroyed.

Grand Paris Seine Ouest

An aid of €200 is granted per fiscal household for purchasers of a VAE residing in the territory.


Since Paris also means Ile-de-France, we must mention the recent subsidy from the region, which can be as much as €500 for the purchase of a VAE (€600 for a cargo ship). It is limited to 50% of the purchase price of the new bike. This aid can be cumulated with local aid, but always with the same ceiling for total aid. In other words, with such an amount, it is self-sufficient.

Marseilles (Bouches-du-Rhône)

As the city of Marseille does not offer assistance for the purchase of a VAE, one must turn to the department. Bucco-Rhodanians can therefore benefit from a 25% refund on the price of the electric bicycle, up to a maximum of €400.


Quite flexible in its conditions of attribution, this aid of 100 € is brought to the inhabitants of Greater Lyon. It is not only intended for adults, it is also open to teenagers from the age of 16. It concerns approved EABs, folding bicycles and cargo or family bicycles, whether new or second-hand, as long as they are purchased from a professional dealer or a self-repair workshop in the Lyon metropolitan area.


Aid of €200 is granted on a means-tested basis (tax income below €28 800).


The Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis offers a 25% refund of the VAE price, limited to €200 per household.


Assistance is reserved for cargo or family bikes, with or without electric assistance. It corresponds to 25% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of €300. Conventional EAVs are no longer subsidized since 2018.


The city relies on the offer of the Occitania region. The latter offers a mobility eco-cheque of 100 € for the purchase of a new VAE from a professional in the region. However, you must not be taxable on income or have a family quotient included in the first tax bracket. In addition, it also pays a €50 grant for the purchase of security equipment, valid for all tax-exempt persons.


No help strictly speaking, but the city of Strasbourg is putting forward a veloptimistic offer which is in fact a financing programme of VAE at 2 € per day, linked to a maintenance contract and for 3 years. Each reseller partner is free to offer the models of his choice.


Aid of €100 for the purchase of an EAB, an electrification system or an adult folding bicycle, cargo bike or tricycle is granted on condition that the applicant’s family quotient is less than €1200.


The capital of Brittany does not offer any help as such, but an option to buy the VAE after a long term rental (2 models to choose from).

Toulon Provence Méditerranée

Metropolitan France offers a refund of 25% of the purchase price of a VAE or electrification kit, up to a maximum of €250.

Angers Loire Métropole

A subsidy of 25% of the price including VAT of the VAE, up to a maximum of €250 (€400 for cargo ships) is granted after purchase, as part of a cycling plan.

A multitude of aids even in smaller cities

In view of the diversity of purchasing aids offered by French cities, we have only detailed the main ones above. Nevertheless, here are the links to the other purchase aid schemes that we were able to find in cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants (non-exhaustive list, please do not hesitate to send us other aid schemes as a comment), with the proposed reimbursement and its ceiling in brackets: Aix-en-Provence (25 % / 250 €) ; Aix-les-Bains (30 % / 250 €) ; Northern Alsace (10 to 20 % / 200 €) ; Arcachon (200 €) ; Arras (30 % / 300 €) ; Blois (25 % / 400 €) ; Caen (25 % / 250 €); Colmar (200 €); Corsica (25 % / 500 €); Epinal (20 % / 200 €); La Roche-sur-Yon (15 % / 150 €); Orléans (25 % / 300 €); Rouen-Normandie (30 % / 300 €)…

Aid to support the growth of the EAV market

Late compared to its European neighbours, France is gradually climbing back up the slope. In its study for the year 2018, Union Sport & Cycle predicts that it could sell around one million EAVs in France in 2025; three times more than in 2018! This would then account for 35% of total bicycle sales, on a par with Germany, which would retain the advantage in terms of sales volume (200,000 EVA more in 2025 according to the same forecast). Purchase aids coupled with lower fares will inevitably help to meet or even exceed these forecasts. However, the penetration rate of EAV is still much higher in the Netherlands and Belgium, with 40% and 50% of the market in 2018 respectively. The bicycle culture in these two countries is indeed much more firmly rooted and the purchasing subsidies introduced several years ago combined with the creation of appropriate infrastructure, have done the rest.

However, there is a real craze for cycling in general in the hexagon, and in particular for the electric bicycle which encourages those who could have left the little queen behind to get back on the saddle. According to a Cerema evaluation conducted in 2018, former cyclists surveyed adopted an EAV to limit their efforts (for 78% of retirees and 62% of non-retirees) and make longer trips. In some cases, this is precisely what is needed to replace a car or a motorised two-wheeler. Thus, motorists and motorized two-wheelers surveyed who had purchased an EAB made this choice mainly out of a desire to exercise (for more than 80%) and out of concern for the environment (for nearly 70%). In a context of urban congestion and, more recently, social movements, and while concerns about the climate are growing, the reasons for preferring an electric bicycle (or even a muscle bike) are unlikely to diminish, especially if the brake on the price of an EAB is weakened by the support of purchasing aids.

You May Also Like